June 15, 2006
Jewelers for Children Raises Record $5 Million
Industry charity Jewelers for Children (JFC) raised a record $5 million for 2006 and sold a record 2,400 seats for its annual charity event June 4 in Las Vegas, coinciding with the JCK International Jewelry Show there.
The charity announced plans to donated $4.5 million of the money to charities that benefit children who are victims of catastrophic illness or life-threatening abuse and neglect.
During the "Facets of Hope" event, JFC honored two of the charity's directors, Mark Light, president and CEO of Sterling Inc. in Akron, Ohio, and Edward Bridge, co-CEO of Ben Bridge Jeweler in Seattle, Wash. In addition, three children who have been benefactors of the charity's donations including a foster child, a leukemia survivor and a former cancer patient spoke during the ceremony about how JFC had helped them.
This year's money will be distributed to the following charities:
The charity also announced that it, with De Beers, will co-fund the Integrated Childcare Program in the Galashewe area of South Africa. The program will fund the development of a support network to help benefit the more than 1 million child-headed, parentless households in the area.
- $1 million to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, to continue funding a research project that JFC has committed to fund for several years. The project investigates how to rebuild the immune systems of children undergoing treatment for life-threatening illnesses.
- $1 million to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America to continue funding the Wish A State program, granting the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
- $1 million to the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association to continue funding the Jewelers for Children, Champions for Abused Children program. The program provides for more than 100 grants to be made to local CASA chapters across the country to recruit and train volunteer advocates for children who are in the foster care system.
- $685,000 to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation to fund a Jewelers for Children Scientist Award, which will be presented to a researcher who has submitted an application for funding of a research project that will focus on helping to eradicate pediatric AIDS and treat the young victims of the deadly disease.
- $275,000 to the Jason Program to fund the Jewelers for Children Gems of Care program that will build and support a nationwide palliative care network that can be accessed by health care professionals and family members dealing with the impending death of a child.
- $340,000 will be placed in the Jeffrey W. Comment Memorial Endowment Fund to be used by JFC to support additional charities focused on children, which apply for funding from the program.